What Cliven Bundy said about blacks

The relevant excerpt:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”


These are simply old-fashioned views from an old-fashioned man  -- views that had wide currency in America not so long ago.  Bundy is being pilloried for being old-fashioned.  He has been too busy managing his cattle to keep up with the latest intellectual fashions.

Even so, his views about the present bad state of many black families are widespread in respectable sources because the dysfunction concerned  is so obvious.  It's only his "wondering" about whether blacks were better off under slavery that is no longer fashionable.  But should ANY wondering be penalized?

His use of the term "negro" has also been condemned -- but "negro" is simply the scientific term for sub-Saharan Africans.  Again it is old-fashioned in modern speech but hardly wrong.

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